Dead to Self: Alive in Christ

passionContinued from here.

Sacrificing yourself – your entire life, will, ambition, and everything else – is the key to experiencing God’s joy and peace. We cannot have it both ways: experiencing God’s joy and peace while expending our energy on selfish pursuits. As Floyd McClung said in his article entitled Apostolic Passion from Perspectives on the World Christian Movement: A Reader (Perspectives),

There are too many over-fed, under-motivated Christians hiding behind the excuse that God has not spoken to them. They are waiting to hear voices or see dreams—all the while living to make money, to provide for their future, to dress well and have fun.”

We must choose who we are going to serve: God or ourselves. If we choose to serve God, this comes with sacrifice, but you’ll experience more joy and peace than you ever imagined! The year 2017 was filled with sacrifice for me, including sacrificing a lucrative job to go where God wanted me, paying literally half the hourly rate I was making. But you know what? I’m having a great time and seeing God’s hand at work. I have already witnessed two miracles in my 2-1/2 months on the job, and God has met all my needs. Nothing about my professional decisions in 2017 make logical sense, but I am exactly where God wants me. I sacrificed my professional ambitions and received so much more than I could have dreamed, even though from a worldly perspective, most people think I have lost my mind!

When I sacrificed my job, I found passion for Christ in a way I had never experienced before. You can experience this passion as well. You don’t have to stay miserable in your profession out of fear for security. God knows what you need and will provide for you. Don’t be afraid to ask where God wants you and to follow Him there. He really does know what he is doing!

McClung encourages us to sacrifice our “gifts, vocations and talents” to God. He then states:

If you have apostolic passion, you are one of the most dangerous people on the planet. The world no longer rules your heart. You are no longer seduced by getting and gaining … You live as a pilgrim, unattached to the cares of this world. You are not afraid of loss… Your Father’s passions have become your passions. You find satisfaction and significance in Him.”

This can be your reality, but it comes with sacrifice. This the natural byproduct of denying yourself, taking up your cross, and following Jesus.

[Graphic: Cartoon of Grace being pulled upward into a shower of hearts. Courtesy Bitmoji.]